RICS London 2024 regional award winners revealed

Five categories for the London regional awards by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) also pick out a new children’s treatment centre, a community project and a state-of-the-art housing complex.

The Old Curiosity Shop made famous by Charles Dickens in his 19th-century novel of the same title has won the Heritage Project award after renovation work on the premises in Portsmouth Street, off Kingsway.

It first opened in 1567 and just missed the Great Fire of London by a whisker, a century later, which miraculously stopped a few streets away. The roof has been repaired from rainwater damage and the shop renovated by the London School of Economics which bought it in 2018 to expand its Holborn campus.

Another historic architectural masterpiece being recognised is Tower Hamlets Town Hall in Whitechapel which was converted from the old London Hospital dating back to 1740.

It gets the Refurbishment award after the site was bought in 2015 from the NHS for £9million after the hospital moved to a new site round the corner.

Queen Elizabeth II gave it Royal patronage in 1990 to mark the 250th anniversary of the hospital in Whitechapel Road.

Project managers Turner and Townsend were appointed in 2018 as specialist design guardians to preserve its heritage for the new town hall.

Another site in the awards is Evelina Children’s Day Treatment Centre which opened last summer on the South Bank, next to St Thomas’s in Lambeth.

The centre, which won the Best Public Sector Project title, is on “a highly constrained sensitive site” between the Victorian St Thomas’s and the contemporary Evelina Hospital which inspired “innovations in healthcare design”.

The Residential Development award went to Juniper House in Walthamstow, with its low-cost homes, a nursery and classrooms for higher education,

It was designed for Waltham Forest Council, close to amenities in Hoe Street.

Judges noted its adjacent park and trees blending with neighbouring homes and a nursery garden with space for toddlers to play.

“These projects are testament to the hard work of industry professionals in London,” judging panel chair Ross Sinclair said. “The collaborative approaches have led to innovations that represent the very best across London.”

The Community Benefit Project award went to a North Paddington housing complex in Harrow Road, meeting a severe need for low-cost council housing.

Its three blocks have 112 “genuinely affordable” homes, with a nursery, community centre, canal-side café and start-up office space, all designed by Child Graddon Lewis architects.

The scheme was changed mid-way during construction by a new council administration from being half for private sale to 100 per cent ‘affordable’, mostly social rent.

The London regional awards show “the most inspirational initiatives” in land, real estate and construction. The five winners have been shortlisted to compete in October for Britain’s architectural Project of the Year.

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